Welcome Gift Bags
For Destination Weddings
More and more brides and grooms are planning destination weddings, and it can be just as much fun for the guests to take a trip to some exotic locale as it is for the bride and groom. On the other hand, even if you get married locally, some of your guests may have traveled long distances in order to attend the festivities. In either situation, many brides and grooms are creating thoughtful wedding gift bags to give their out-of-town guests. These bags are intended to make their guests feel welcome, and to let them know how much you appreciate them for making the extra effort to attend your wedding. What are some of the things you may want to include in your wedding gift bag?Credit: www.morguefile.com
Basics Items for your Wedding Gift Bags
You may use either a small canvas tote bag, or an attractive paper gift bag with a wedding theme to hold the information and favors you wish to give your guests. If you choose a canvas bag, you can order it personalized with the couple's last initial, the date of the wedding, or simply something romantic, such as a heart embroidered on the outside. You can also order paper gift bags and other items that have been personalized. Once you have purchased a sufficient number of bags, what should you put in them?
Be sure to include an agenda for all the activities that will be going on over the weekend. This will spare your guests from having to run around asking people what is happening next. Even if there are some events, such as a bridesmaid luncheon, that will not involve your out-of-town guests, you should mention it on the agenda, so they are not wondering what is going on if they see a group of people leaving the hotel together. The agenda will also let your guests know when they will have some free time to spend on their own.
Wedding Gift Bags for Out-of-Town Guests
If most of your guests live locally, but you have a few that are coming from out-of-town, you will want their gift bags to show them how much you appreciate the effort they made to attend. If at all possible, their gift bags should be individually labeled, and waiting for them at their hotel when they check in.
In addition to the wedding agenda, you will want to include some information about the local community. If they are driving themselves to the wedding and reception, you will want to include maps and directions. If they will have free time during the days surrounding the wedding, include restaurant information and brochures about local sites that may be of interest to them. That takes care of the practical considerations. Now, for the goodies!
You will want to include some special items that will add to your guest's comfort, and also give them a sweet memento of your wedding. For example, you may want to include a small photo frame, with a note thanking them for attending and telling them that you hope they get a great photo of themselves at your wedding to place in their frame. You will also want to include a cute souvenir from the local area … anything from a small local cookbook to candy, honey or similar food items. When one of our daughters got married, her future mother-in-law made homemade jars of jam for each of the out-of-town guests. They loved it!
Wedding Gift Bags for Destination Weddings
Wedding Gift Bags may be a bit more exotic for a destination wedding. Of course, you will want to include a copy of the agenda for the days surrounding the wedding. This is particularly important for a destination wedding because many of your guests may want to go out and see the local sites. So, of course, be sure to provide them with a map, directions to interesting locations, and sight-seeing brochures as a thoughtful gesture.
Once you have taken care of practicalities, the goodies that you include will depend on the destination. If your wedding is in a location where the tap water is not potable, you may want to include a few extra bottles water in their bag. If the wedding is at a beach location, it might be fun to include flip-flops, sunscreen and similar products that will help make their stay fun.
Again, try to have the bags personally labeled and waiting for your guests when they check into the hotel. After a long trip, they will be delighted by your thoughtfulness. And, if they arrive at a time when you are away from the hotel, your guests will still feel as if they have been welcomed personally by you.
Commercially Prepared Wedding Gift Bags
If you really don't have the time to prepare your own wedding gift bags, there are companies that will now create a special gift bag for your guests. You can just add your wedding agenda and anything else you want to the bags, but most of the work will already be done for you.
One such company is Navy & Lavender. They can provide you with charming gift totes for about $32 to $50 a person. You can pick the tote, tissue paper and other items that go best with your wedding. For example, their Palm Beach Chic welcome tote comes with taffy, cookies, a "Florida" mint tin, gumballs, Fiji water, and a hangtag that you can personalize with a message to your guests. They have other welcome bags that are geared towards other destinations, such as an Island Getaway Bag, their Beach Bliss bag, their City of Angels bag, as well as others. A monogram can be added to their bags for $3. For an additional $10, you can add a "Rescue Me Kit," that contains some of the little essentials that your guests may have forgotten to bring with them, such as band-aids, toothpaste, Pepto-Bismol, Shout spot remover, and similar items. You can check out their assortment of wedding gift bags at navyandlavender.com.
Another company that also sells wedding gift bags and the personalized items that you may want to include in them is Favors You Keep from Austin, Texas. That is a great site if you want to buy personalized bags, tissue paper, personalized cups, favor boxes, candy treats and similar items that will allow you to effortlessly assemble your own charming wedding gift bags. With this company you purchase the different items you want to use separately, so you have the option of spending as little or as much as you would like.
Whether you assemble the gift bags yourself, or order them pre-made, your guests will love your thoughtful attempt to make them feel welcome!
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